GRAND LAKE: Collecting the signatures of artists performing at the Kempt Shore Acoustic Maritime Music Festival has paid off for one young boy who thinks of others in need first, including those his own age.

Chase MacDonald stands wearing one of the two t-shirts he created and collected signatures on at the Acoustic Maritime Music Festival in mid-July at Kempt Shore. The second shirt was auctioned off and by the time donations were tallied, he had raised $500. He donated the money to the IWK Foundation. (Healey photo)

Chase MacDonald got autographs from Christine Campbell, Heather Rankin, Kevin Davison, Matt Minglewood and J.P. Cormier just to name a few who performed at the festival, which was held July 13-16 at the Kempt Shore Ocean View Campground in West Hants. That’s where the story takes a charitable turn.

Last year when Chase and his family from Grand Lake took in the Acoustic Maritime Music Festival, he tie-dyed a shirt that he got all of the performers to sign. This year, he tie dyed two shirts, one for him and one which he was going to let the festival keep; however, event organizers had other ideas. They chose instead to auction it off.

“It sold for $70 and I was surprised by that because I thought it might only sell for $50,” said Chase as he and mom Heather sat outside at the family home. “My mom matched that with another $70. More and more people kept donating.

“One of the stage directors took around a hat collecting money from all those in the area. By the end of that we had $463, so my great-grandmother thought, why not make it an even $500, and so she did.”

And on August 1, accompanied by his family, Chase presented all of that money to the IWK Foundation. Why the IWK? That was an easy choice for the spry 11-year-old.

“I thought that would be the best place because there are a lot of kids that need more medical help,” he said.

Chase presents the cheque to the IWK.

Chase said getting signatures on a new shirt is great way to remember who came each year to the festival.

He said he waits by a fence for each artist to come out, and has some inside help by knowing the people who go up on stage to introduce the next artist.

What does Chase think of raising $500?

“It’s amazing,” he said, smiling ear to ear. “I honestly never thought I would get that much money.”

Chase said he’s not done — he plans to continue the new tradition next year.

“Definitely, but I think I’ll bring some more markers,” he said with a chuckle.